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Microsoft Encourages Partner-Assisted Service


After February 1, 2017, Microsoft will no longer offer pay-as-you-go (PAYG) Azure for new customers. Instead, first-time customers will be directed to Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) system This article covers important questions you may have about these changes – what the changes are, why they’re happening, and what it can mean for you.

What’s Changing?

Starting February, any new customers who want to purchase Microsoft Azure on a PAYG basis will be unable to do so via the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement.

Before this development, Microsoft previously considered moving forward with its Enterprise Advantage (EA) program, which would have enabled organization-wide purchasing of software and services. This EA licensing option was meant for larger organizations with 250 to 2399 users.

However, their licensing system has shifted its focus from EA to emphasize three new business strategies for smaller organizations. Microsoft’s general licensing manager Richard Smith describes these three as:

  1. Partner value-added services that help businesses innovate more quickly using assistance from Microsoft partners like NetFire.
  2. Self-service Web with easy access to first- and third-party apps.
  3. Microsoft-assisted options that enable enterprise-wide agreements.


To emphasize the three key business strategies, Microsoft needed to change its licensing system. Mitchell Feldman, chief digital officer at Red Pixie, identified a key problem with the old PAYG model.:

“…a large proportion of customers don’t really get to enjoy the true benefits of the Azure cloud due to lack of skills and often projects fail or don’t get past proof of concepts.

By encouraging customers to work with partners via the CSP programme, it will mean that there is a far greater chance of success and ultimately a greater consumption of services from the Cloud. This means the customer gets a better outcome and Microsoft support their channel partners. For me this is a win win situation for everyone.”

By changing to the CSP model, Microsoft encourages more customers to succeed – smaller organizations need not be hampered by lack of resources or skill. By working with a Microsoft partner like NetFire, all organizations can get the fully-managed infrastructure they need to thrive.

What Does It Mean?

NetFire is a Microsoft partner, and we extend those benefits to all of our clients – through our service, you can gain access to the most industry-leading Microsoft software, all backed up by our round-the-clock support from experienced staff.

Under the old model, customers were left to manage entirely alone, which meant that some of their most important projects just didn’t get done. The new model offers fresh possibilities – NetFire’s private cloud service supports a Windows platform, but we offer even more than that – we have a dedicated team of experts who are committed to helping you get the most value from your platform. If you have more questions about how this new development can impact your organization, don’t feel overwhelmed – connect with us.